The italian MBT Ariete during the test in Oto-melara's complex .
The original Ariete was designed, constructed, and tested by the IVECO FIAT - Oto Melara Syndicated Company, headquartered in Rome. This company is a business merger consisting of two separate defense contractors:
IVECO's Defence Vehicles Division, responsible for the development of the chassis and support systems, and
Oto Melara, responsible for the turret and fire-control system development.
The Ariete is currently in service with the Italian Army. It began with the first tank's delivery in 1995. The final delivery completed 7 years later in August 2002. An upgraded version, with modular armor, auto-loader and 55-calibre gun, was displayed in 2005 and ready for production.
Armament typical of the modern day main battle tank, the Ariete can engage targets in a variety of conditions. It can engage stationary or moving targets; it can attack opponents whether or not the Ariete is on-the-move; finally, it can engage targets day or night with the factory-installed thermal imager and laser rangefinder.
The standard load-out consists of three primary weapons systems:
A 120 mm main gun,
A 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun (manned by a crew member), and
A 7.62 mm anti-aircraft (manned by the tank commander).
Its primary weapon is the 55-calibre 120 mm main gun produced and manufactured by Oto Melara. The gun's barrel is a smoothbore design, and is autofrettaged and stress-hardened to increase durability over extended periods of fire. Its implementation allows for the use of a combined load-out of armour-piercing, fin-stabilized, discarding sabot (APFSDS) and high-explosive anti-tank (HEAT) rounds.
Crew and tank protection:The primary defense system protecting any contemporary tank is its armor plating. While the exact specifications of the armor are government and trade secrets, the manufacturer states that it is a steel and composite blend, similar to the British Challenger 2 tank and the American M1 Abrams.
Also important to the tank's defense are two laterally-mounted grenade launchers. Each launcher is electronically-fired, and consists of four barrels which can be intermixed with either smoke or chaff grenades. The smoke grenades are capable of shrouding the tank from visual or thermal detection. The chaff grenades are useful for dispersing the tank's radar cross section.
In addition it provides War Kit And PKO Kit it will be able to reinforce the Front armor and the side Armor with an optional package.
Finally, the crew cabin is protected by an anti-NBC system designed by Aero Sekur. It is capable of protecting the crew for a period of time from any modern nuclear, radiological, biological, or chemical attack.
Fire control and target acquisition :
The tank's fire-control system is of Italian manufacture, produced by Galileo Avionica (now a part of Selex Galileo). It is designated the TURMS Fire-Control System, and includes, among other features:
Day- and night-capable panoramic commander's scope for increased visibility,
Stabilized gunner's platform including thermal optics and a laser rangefinder to increase accuracy and expedite target detection and targeting,
Digital fire-control mini-computer.
The most important aspect, the fire-control computer, is capable of measuring wind speed, humidity, and exterior weather conditions, combining them with the turret's angle of elevation, attitude, and the barrel's physical wear to increase accuracy.
Powerplant and drivetrain:
The Ariete's powerplant is powered by a 25.8 litres turbo-charged Fiat-Iveco 12-cylinder diesel engine. Its rated output is 937 kilowatts (equivalent to 1250-HP) at 2.300 rpm, with a max torque of 4.615 Nm at 1.600 rpm.
It has a ZF LSG3000 automatic transmission,and has four forward gears and two reverse, allowing for a top cruising speed of 65 km/h. The transmission allows it to climb grades rated up to 60%, and can ford waterways of up to 1.25-m on-the-fly.